Talk about a cry-fest. Even Gilding cried like a ninny when she read this one.
Diagnosed with brain cancer, 6-year old Elena Desserich was given 135 days to live–she lived 255 (2007). After her passing, Elena’s parents began finding hundreds of notes hidden in any nook and cranny throughout their home, all of them from their daughter. What must have been an exhaustive feat during her illness, Elena created these little love notes, a few of which are shown here:
…these notes were found tucked in backpacks, dresser drawers, between bookshelves and CD cases.
Elena’s parents have had these notes published in a book entitled Notes Left Behind to fund the non-profit organization The Cure Starts Now, dedicated to fighting pediatric brain cancer. Visit Notes Left Behind for the full story and details on where you can purchase the book.
Now if you’ll escuse this deviant; she has to go take care of this blasted heart that has suddenly grown two sizes too big. No body likes a nice Gilding.
In honor of Banned Books Week, these are the books Gilding never had as a child, but wished she did.
Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland
Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Trinity College LIbrary, AKA, The Long Room, Dublin, Ireland
Melk Monastery Library, Melk, Austria
Jay Walker’s Private Library
Rijkmuseum Library, Amsterdam
Strahov Monastery – Theological Library, Prague, Czech Republic
Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel, Germany
Biblioteca Geral University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Wiblingen Monastary Library, Ulm, Germany
George Peabody Library, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Library of the Benedictine Monastery of Admont, Austria
It’s interesting how some of the illustrations can be so hit and miss for Gilding, yet they are produced by the same artist. These illustrations by Gustaf Tenggren come from an extremely rare 1923 edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
These, of course, are Gilding’s favorites, but a whole library of these illustrations as well as several other libraries of Tenggren’s illustrations from other books can be seen here on ASIFA Hollywood. [Via Ectoplasmosis]
About four books back — so in Gilding time that means roughly two and a half weeks ago — Gilding finished reading Thief of Souls by Ann Benson. Having never read a book by this author, this book came to Gilding about five years ago by way of a friend and has since been sitting in her collection of books to read. Which, by the way, is a fairly huge collection and even as fast as Gilding reads them, she can’t seem to make the pile any smaller…though it doesn’t help when she continues to add to the pile and skips the pile every so often to read one of her umpteen regular authors every time they put out a new book. But in the recent lapse of her favorite authors not having published as fast as she reads, Gilding was able to slip this book in as a read.
Thief of Souls was an interesting departure from Gilding’s usual tap of horror, scifi fantasy fiction, in that it is essentially a hictorical fiction meets Janet Evonovich detective sleuthing.
To put a quick overview to the book, the story follows two women who are trying to solve the same crime of missing children but in two different eras. Editorial reviews describe the women as feisty and — Gilding will give this to them — dedicated, but these women couldn’t be more different from one another in personality and voice, and frankly, they both irritated the shit out of Gilding.
The story begins Guillemette le Drappiere, once Nanny to an aristocrat whose family owns more land and holdings than the King of France himself, and now widowed Nun and confidant to a Duke cum Bishop of Nantes. Tired of her forced nunnery and pissed that the Bishop has ignored the report of a missing child, Guillemette convinces him to allow her to look into the reports of missing children to determine if in fact there is something amiss.
In the next chapter — and litterally, the reader is switched from one woman’s voice to next with each chapter — we are introduced to Lany Dunbar, an LA detective who picks up the case of a missing child, only to discover that her recently deceased partner had a similar case of a missing child, as well as another collegue’s — though solved but remains personally an unsolved — case following the same pattern as hers. From there the cases compound as more and more come in from other detectives, revealing that the disappearances have been happening for the last 12 years.
The heart of the story, though, lies with Guillemette, as it is her story to tell that introduces us to the first serial killer, to which Lany’s serial killer is actually copying.
The story itself is interesting. It is well written and even though you are reading about essentially two different cases in two different eras, there is no confusion as to where you are and what is happening.
So where does the irritating part come in. It may just be Gilding’s quirk, but the women were just bothersome — well, not so much Guillemette; her actions can be excused as “the times”. She’s stuck as a nun against her will — or as much against her will as knowing that she will be left in the cold with no clothes or money or household to her name should she leave the care of the Bishop. She is forced to bow to the stern control of the Bishop, though as his friend, he grants her far more leniancy than would be granted to any other woman. Personally its hard to understand her feelings of reverence towards her once young charge when she finds out that as a man he is in fact the serial killer of so many children in possibly the most gruesome way you can think of. Further that by her later knowledge of his part in her beloved sons death, and nope, there is no reason whatsoever that the silly bitch should feel anything for the man let alone harbour her disagreeable opinion towards how the common folk treat a man of his station — to the point of feeling this regardless his heinous crimes.
Then there’s Lany, a well respected woman on the force who seems to whimper and whine to her police psychologist for his expertise on serial killers than evoke feelings of an empowerd and intellegent woman. On more than one occassion — hell, pretty much every conversation she has with the doctor — Lany makes mention of her inability to understand what the doctor is telling her because he is educated and she is just a detective — a station of which should imply if nothing else that she is an intellegent woman or else she wouldn’t have been able to attain such a position. But you can’t really respect her with such continued self-loathing.
But as Gilding said, the story line itself is interesting. And one of the details that is particularly interesting about Benson’s story is her choice of historical person, the center story for which Lany’s modern serial killer is birthed — Gille de Rais, better known as Bluebeard.
Gille de Rais was a Breton knight, and well known companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc. But perhaps he is best known as a prolific serial killer of children. After a life of successful campaigns, the attainment of even more wealth with his marriage to Catherine de Thouras, he retired from the military, dabbled in the occult, depleted all that wealth with extravagance and otherwise stupid acts, and then was condemned in secular court and executed.
It is believed that he was the inspiration for the 1697 fairy tale Bluebeard by Charles Perrault, though his Bluebeard is a murderer of wives and the story follows the violent exploits of the nobleman in his habit and the attempt of one wife to avoid the fate of her predecessors.
Gilding picked up a few books yesterday at the bookstore. Among them were Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a qausi written novel by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
The expanded edition of the well loved classic of Jane Austen’s novel, features all new scenes of bone-crunching, brain slurping zombie mayhem. The story begins with a mysterious plague having fallen upon Meryton that brings the dead back to life. Feisty heroin Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wiope out ever last one of the rotten skin-dripping menaces, but she, of course, is soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.
What is ensues is what critics are claiming will be a humorous comedy of manners and polite society sparring between two young lovers and even more violent, bloody, ooze dripping sparring as Elizabeth wages war against hordes or flesh-eating undead.
Ahh…to be a girl in a world where once must overcome the social prejudices of a class-conscious landed gentry and scour the land of the vile stench and chomping teeth of zombies.
Romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses — what could be better!
Chaff’n'Skaffs: Mai and the lost Moskivvy, may be written for children ages 4-8, but the illustrations created by well-known artist and animator on the California scene Luke Feldman, is sure to have it appearing in many big kids book collection as well.
Written by Amanda Chin, the story is of a pretty girl, and unidentifiable and faithful friend and a dapper lost mosquito (Moskivvy), as the trio set out on an incredible journey to escort Moskivvy home. The world they embark on is vibrantly colorful and uniquely whimsical.
You can check out more of Luke Feldman’s work at skaffs. There you can also follow the link to the book’s product page. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can click and print free coloring pages of the 3 heroes from the book.
By the way, how utterly fucking cute is this toy of Mai from the story:
[Via Art MOCO]
From Jane Pain Lingerie “Psycho Candy Campaign”
The 120 Days of Sodom was written by the Marquis de Sade while he was imprisoned in Bastille. The book tells the tale of four men who want to have the ultimate orgy. To accomplish this, they seal themselves away a gaggle of young men and women. Within the story is actually an exhaustive catalogue of sexual abberations and the first systematic exploration — a hundred years before Krafft-Ebing and Freud — of the psychology of sex. The sex quickly turns sadistic as the mens’ sexual appetites turn towards humiliation, pain, and killing. Pretty much every debased and bizarre sexual fetish is explored in detail, crossing lines that most even still have in place today. An amazing feat given that the book was written in 1785.
The 120 Days is considered to be Sade’s crowning literary achievement and the cornerstone of his thought. Lost after the storming of the Bastille in 1789, it was later retrieved but remained unpublished until 1935.
From Sade’s Last Will and Testament: “Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.”
Oh, here’s a bit of trivia for you. While many know of Salvadore Dali’s illustrated suite Marquis de Sade, consisting of 25 lithographs, you may not have known that Dali’s wife, Gala, was of some familial relation to the de Sade family.
Not your typical book. Then again, its not your typical lingerie either.
Artist Tamar Stone, inspired by her own experiences, has chosen book weaving as the medium to capturing “the moments in women’s lives when issues of appearance, self esteem and assimilation become paramount due to physical restrictions placed on the body…”
With such a powerful inspiration its no surprise that the bindings beared by women’s corsetry would find its way into her work. But even it could have expected to become the book itself. Her interest in body image — and through that corsets — came from a lifetime of forced binding as scoliosis forced her in her teens to wear a brace 23 hours out of the day. Again in her adult life she found herself once more corseted as a herniated disk forced back into constraints. It is throughout these years that she developed a sensitivity to “correction” and the need to fit in.
Wanting to tell the stories she was telling but needing them to become more 3-dimensional, not just text on paper but stories that were a part of the textile, Stone began embroidering the text into the fabric forcing the reader to interact intimately with the book and the stories being told within.
Having to take time to unlace the ties, undo the buckles, all in order to read the text, is a part of the contemplation and therapy of the process; echoing the binding experience women for a century of dressing and undressing have been experiencing.
As for the texts themselves, they come from a variety of sources from behavioral manuals of the 19th and 20th century, which describe prescriptions of public and private conduct, as well as personal narratives of women who have lived with these physical constraints.
So Gilding has been storing a cache of all these wonderful things that people did with their old and unwanted books. Gilding herself has a multitude of ARC books that she was just waiting for the perfect project to prevent itself.
So the first two images are those of the creations that Gilding found inspiring. The first one is a picture holder made by Sweet Paul. The second was made by Freshly Found. The final image is a montage of the ones Gilding made. Though the composition isn’t very aesthetic, much more a point and shoot deal, the purpose was just to get them out there. More to come later.
Loving this Virgin Megastore campaign for Audio Books.
Dancing on the ceiling by Tara Bradford, on her blog Paris Parfait
When Gilding fingered this entry (remember, Mission Composition) she thought her random thoughts had gotten the best of her. Not that that’s unusual. They ususally do. But what sense can you make out of this jumbled list besides the obvious naughty thoughts that go flitting behind the eyes upon hearing them. Then she thought that perhaps, that was the intent all along, and it probably still is the reason, to be quite frank.
So, Gilding had apparently been looking at a book entitled The Gilded Lily by Harry Street, a fiction erotica published in 2005. Yep, the naughty was definitely the reason for this list. Anyhoo, the jotted note is of sections of this book and what appear to be keywords for it. Prepare for pissed pants or wet panties, whichever floats your boat. For Gilding it was both. Not a comfortable combination, if she were to be honest.
[Section 1] – retakes, janet, lightly
[Section 2] – lily, janet, towel
[Section 3] – chad, cold iron, lily
[Section 4] – streamers, crotch, blushing
[Section 5] – crotch, stallion, penis
[Section 6] – larry, frigid, greer
And that proves it, kiddies. Gilding is not right in the head.
Though upon reading the synopsis: a well-written work that gives credible and quite vivid account of Lily, the girl with Spanish Fly in her veins…Gilding is pretty sure this is what inspired her post, Spanish Fly in the Blood. And Gilding did post the synopsis of the book in her post, The Gilded Lily way back so why this list didn’t make it in that post, who knows. Some devious muse behind her must have foreseen the better ensued hilarity that only time can bring to reading a list like this and stayed Gilding’s hand. Good Muse. Now, if you’d only let Gilding in on these flashes of brilliance sooner, she wouldn’t look like such a dumbass most of the time.
Director Kazuya Sasahara will be directing a 12 episode adaptation of Motofumi Kobayashi’s anthropomorphic animal told military history manga Cat Shit One, released in North America as Apocalypse Meow. The anime series will update the setting of the original manga from the Vietnam War to modern military conflicts including the Iran Hostage Crisis.
In the original series, all the various nations involved in the Vietnam War are represented by an animal counterpart: the Vietnamese were portrayed as Cats (hence the name, Cat Shit One), Americans as rabbits, Arabs and other Middle Eastern as Camels, Russians as bears, etc. This aspect remains true for the anime adaptation, except that the protagonist rabbits have been updated from U.S. soldiers to employees of a private military company.
The series is designed as a serious and realistic modern war drama that just happens to star incredibly cute and cuddly animals.
Its obvious from the trailer the movies spectacular cinematic value. The animation is spot on, crisp in detail, soft and hazy when the fur is flying so to speak, and though the colors fall, obviously, in the neutral color palette, they’re still vibrant and beautiful, standing out against the sandy covered background.
But, now watch the trailer with the sound off and just pay attention to what you see. There is a disturbing quality to having cute, fluffy animals blowing eachother up, blood flying, and falling furry comrades laying dead in the destruction of bombs and bullets. Certainly that’s the point, for why else make them our furry forest friends armed with weapons of mass destruction, for trust that that’s what they are. They may only be carrying guns and bombs, and it may not be nuclear weapons that they’re shooting off, but that’s the point exactly. Look at just how much mass damage was done by creatures so small and weapons that fit in their own hands. How does Man seem to able to overlook such dire points when in the pursuit of its own greed or righteousness.
One of Gilding’s fondest childhood memories is of reading Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Almost every chance she got to check this book out from a local or school library she did so. Well up into her teens even. Interestingly enough, with all the books she did own in her childhood (Gilding even owned a first edition print of The Neverending Story at the tender age of 4), she never owned her very own copy of this book. Still doesn’t, in fact. Perhaps she shall remedy this over the weekend.
Still, she has been in anticipation for this movie adaptation for years now. USA Today has released more images that have been released from the Wild Things camp. And while Gilding, of course, perused them once, twice, three times a plenty — drooling — its almost cruel the images being released and yet the movie is so far from release; the film is set to arrive in theaters Oct. 16th.
How true to the book the film will be, one will only know once they have seen it. Filmaker Spike Jonze has openly admitted to investing his own brand of offbeat into the favored bedtime classic. Keeping close contact with Sendak, 81, as a consult, Jonze says: “He was adamant that I make my own thing…’Make somethig personal to you.’ Early on, he was very quick to insist on that.” And that’s because that’s what a children’s book is supposed to do. As adults, we become so worked up over the business aspect of things; the property rights, the plagerism laws, and so on, and so on, that we forget what these books did for us as children. They inspired us. The characters we met leapt out of the pages after the story was done and became our own friends with which we wrote our own stories — a continuum of existence for them, but our own, nevertheless.
But one of the best things about the film — at least to Gilding, who is a child of the puppeteering and animatronic world of Jim Henson and Brian Froud — is that Jonze didn’t digitally create the film’s beasts. Seven very tall Australian actors were hired to don costumes of the beasts; Jonze didn’t believe anything less would do justice to the passion felt by fans: “I wanted them to actually be there…There’s a danger with Max being there on a real location. Dangerous and exciting. I wanted it to feel that you could hug them.”
Link: USA Today
Tormented novelist Sylvia Plath explored the themes of suicide in her 1963 novel “The Bell Jar,” which follows an ambitious college student who attempts to kill herself after suffering a nervous breakdown while interning at a New York City magazine. The novel is a refelction of Plath’s own experiences of suffering depression while working at Mademoiselle as a college student.
Plath went on to study poetry at Cambridge University, after a stay at a mental institution. It was at Cambrisge that she met Ted Hughes, famed poet laureate, and the two were married in 1956. The couple had two children — Nicholas and Freida — but separated in 1962 after Mr. Hughes began an affair with another woman, Assia Wevill. Wevill later married Hughes and helped raise Nicholas and Freida after Plath took her own life at the age of 30 by sticking her head in an oven in her London home on Feb. 11, 1963, as the young children slept nearby.
Some six years later, Wevill killed herself and her four year old daughter, Shura, styling the murder-suicide in the same manner as Plath’s own death, using a gas stove.
And now, nearly a half-century after his mother and stepmother took their own lives, Nicholas Hughes, an evolutionary biologist who studied stream fish and spent much of his time trekking across Alaska on field studies, hanged himself in his Alaskan home, March 16th 2009.
Sheilded from stories about his mother’s suicide till well into his teens, Hughes lived an academic life largely out of the public eye. Though, friends and family said he long struggled with depression.
A life darkened by the shadows depression and suicide, it leaves one to wonder if such is hereditary or a family curse. Can one inherit a gene bent for suicide? Is depression a catching symptom like the common cold? Though he remained in silence about the suicides, and had protected his children from the details of their mother’s death, in at least one poem, Ted Hughes indicates that Nicholas, only one at the time of her death, was pained even as a small child, recalling in one stanza how Nicholas’s eyes “Became wet jewels/ The hardest substance of the purest pain/ As I fed him in his high white chair.” Is this the ravings of a poet waxing romantic, or were these but the beginning signs that Nicholas’s mother’s depression had left her body and found her son?